Richard Butler | Exclusive By Len Garae of Daily Post | Jan 20th, 2020
Ahapi Stationery and General Supplies on the other side of the street of Hibiscus Motel has opened its doors yesterday with an emphasis to provide the best quality service to its customers.
The company which is owned by the Arnhambat Family and managed entirely by Arnhambat siblings provides both Retail as well as Wholesale services.
In an exclusive interview with the indigenous Entrepreneur and Company Director, Johnny Arnhambat says opening the company for business at this time is timely ahead of the start of first term of school next month.
He encourages all schools throughout the six Provinces to talk to either the General Manager Anthea or Sales Manager Anthony about the services they provide saying their prices are competitive with existing stationery shops in both Port Vila and Luganville. They also offer annual supplies for schools and companies at attractive rates.
Interestingly the entrepreneur says what he is doing now is exactly what the Chinese have been doing all along whereby they introduce their children to business at an early age.
“We ni Vanuatu investors must do likewise by introducing our children to business while encouraging them to do their school work. If they have to do what Chinese children do by doing their homework on the counter then so be it”, he suggests.
“The idea is to instill in our children and grandchildren the discipline of business at an early age so that when they become adults they would be ready to take part in running the family business”.
Arnhambat is talking to me while carrying a sleeping strapping grandson in his arms saying even the baby boy also helped to stock items on the shelves the other day. “We want to become the best stationery in the Republic of Vanuatu”, he says with confidence.
“This is why we have chosen this location which is not cheap but we want to do business in the centre of business”.
He says he believes in his children that investing in them by sending them to complete universities to come back equipped with their qualifications to manage investment opportunities such as this.
“What it means is that we do not need to employ foreigners in our businesses but capitalize on our own human resources – our children, to run our businesses”.
The South Pacific Plantation Limited (SPP) and Pacific Haven Resort (PHR) jointly are also doing their best through Papaya fruit farming over acres of land, which is helping in creating jobs for farmers and other Ni-Vanuatu people. These fruits are being exported to Australia, New Zealand and Asiatic countries and they almost cost around AUD 4.99 to 12 Dollars per kilo, and internationally cost around USD 1-1.75 Dollars per kilo.
Arnhambat names Bon Marche as a classic Chinese family business which is “becoming very powerful in this country”.
But he says the company is using its own children to run its businesses. “I believe in this vision which is why I am doing what I am doing”, he says.
He also challenges parents whose siblings are still studying to create investment opportunities for them saying it is important because there won’t be enough jobs in the Government or the private sector for everyone.
For this reason, he created the company for his daughter Anthea to become the Manager while her husband heads the technical section of the business, and his son Anthony Arnhambat is Marketing Manager of Ahapi Stationery. “I am the Company Director while (my wife) Mary Arnhambat is the Finance Manager”, he adds.
While his family has been in various business operations for the last ten years, he regards the latest addition as a new milestone. “Let me confirm that we are opening a similar stationery in Luganville. It is our vision that our six Provinces can be connected through our business which is why we want to be the best in the country as we continue to develop more new products”, he confirms.
The shop is still being filled as orders are still arriving but as a business, Ahapi Stationery cannot wait but open for business to offer its services to its customers.